Being an authentic person is all about knowing who you are in order to let the world see you as you are. The word authentic means true, genuine, real. Our modern society focuses on appearance rather than reality. Just look at the glossy magazines with photoshopped images of supermodels or sports heroes, and we can see how easy it is to fall into the trap of becoming shallow, fake, and inauthentic.
It takes a great deal more courage to live authentically, maybe swimming against the tide and even going it alone if you have to in order to pursue what you really believe in. Here are five ways you can determine whether or not you are an authentic person.
1. You Say What You Mean, and Mean What You Say
An authentic person is clear about what they want and need, and are willing to share their lives with positive people who will support their goals. You are also truthful, not insincere. You are able to say no to demands put upon you by others without being afraid that the relationship will suffer for it.
If you do make a promise, you follow through, even if it might be inconvenient to yourself sometimes. Others know you are as good as your word and respect you for your integrity.
2. You Express Your Feelings in a Positive Way without Fear
An authentic person is not afraid to express their full range of emotions, but in a positive and constructive way. This does not mean they have to be positive all the time; it means understanding the impact of your moods and words upon those around you. You can be angry without shouting or being sarcastic. You can express sadness or disappointment without trying to make the other person feel as though it is all their fault.
You acknowledge your feelings without trying to suppress them until you are so stressed you blow a gasket like a pressure cooker. You allow yourself to experience the full range of feelings without trying to numb them through drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or engaging in other unhealthy avoidance activities.
3. You Seek Deeper Connection Rather Than Hiding behind a Shallow Mask
An authentic person has enough self-esteem to know their own worth and think they are deserving of friendship, attention and even love. When you are with close friends or even new acquaintances, you seek deeper connection and finding out what others think rather than resorting to polite small talk.
You are a good listener who does not need to put themselves in control of every conversation. In your love life, you long for intimacy and emotional connection and do not try to hide behind a mask for fear of being rejected.
4. You Like Yourself, Warts and All
An authentic person knows their own strengths and weaknesses. They make the most of the strengths while trying to minimize the impact of or even eliminate the weaknesses through self-improvement.
5. You Are Constantly Trying to Improve Yourself to Be the Best You Can Be
An authentic person is so self-aware that they are always trying to better themselves. For example, if they know they have a problem with anger, they don’t just let it boil over. They seek out an anger management course and follow through with all the steps necessary to reduce their problem in a healthy way.
Being authentic inspires confidence in others, making you a magnet for the right people who will support you as you live your best life as a genuine person – a person who does not waste their time or energy hiding behind a mask.